The SDA Pro Tour Combine returned Saturday, October 22, for the first time since 2019 at the Arlen Specter US Squash Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Combine attracted a dozen prospective professionals and exposed the experienced singles players to hardball doubles instruction and competition. For the first time in its history, the Combine included men’s, women’s and mixed competition.
The group of players included current and former collegiate singles and doubles players, current and former PSA professionals and experienced U.S. teaching professionals. The instruction and competitive coaching was led by world No. 5 and former WSDA Director, Suzie Pierrepont, and US Squash Doubles Committee Chair, Steve Scharff.
The day began with a doubles refereeing clinic led by Suzie Pierrepont, followed by fierce competition in both the men’s and women’s round robins, comprising of three teams each. Rachel Mashek & Nessrine Ariffin came out on top in the women’s draw, while Blake Roshkoff & David Haley topped the men’s draw. After lunch, players were educated on tour etiquette and expectations, led by Steve Scharff, before heading into mixed doubles play in the afternoon. The six mixed pairs were split into two round robin groups, which culminated in a playoff between Brown students Blake Roshkoff & Rachel Mashek, and Philadelphia-based Karim Ibrahim & Charlotte Knaggs. Roshkoff & Mashek took the match 15-11, 15-9, 15-14, making them the top scorers across the whole event. View all results here.
The Combine aims to develop a healthy pipeline of new players on the SDA Pro Tour and has already seen success after the combine’s first three years. Some Combine players who have climbed the rankings include world No. 11 Kyle Martino, world No. 14, Hameed Ahmed, and world No. 15 Lyell Fuller on the men’s tour, and women’s world No. 3, Lume Landman.
Nearly half of all Combine veterans have gone on to compete in SDA events the following season. Combine players also received SDA ranking points to aid their assimilation into the tour entry process.
The Combine will resume it’s early summer schedule in 2023, with dates and location to be confirmed.